Jinal Sangoi’s installation titled ‘Stories of Invisible Labour’ has an impressive premise. As part of it, she brought audio recordings of women who spoke about their personal experiences of migration. Fitted above these audio devices were shiny vessels that were etched by Jinal to show “organic feminine forms”. These vessels were provided by the women themselves; they were from their own kitchens, shiny because they were unused ones as they would rather not part with the ones they use every day.
The idea, realised beautifully and unusually, germinated from Jinal’s feelings about the patriarchal culture that pervades Indian households. In these familial universes, women work unquantifiable hours in the kitchen, but the steel vessels they work with day after day carry the initials of the senior male member of the house. Why is this so? Why is the feminine stamp missing from even the most mundane items in the household, items that women use, clean, cook in, cherish and sometimes pass on to female relatives generation after generation?
This is a work that reveals layers as you think deeper, about the women who migrate, adopt cultures, create homes out of houses, but remain voiceless and invisible.
Listen in for more as RJ Shruti Sharada interviews Jinal about her ideas and her process in this episode of Gender Jalebi.
(Jinal was one of the artists selected for Gender Bender 2018 which was organised by Sandbox Collective and held at Goethe Institut/Max-Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore.)
Written by Shruti Sharada.